30 January, 2014

Pins on Pinterest

Check this out! At this very moment in time, if you search "Thread Catcher Pattern" on Pinterest, this is what comes up.  My photos, pinned by others, occupy five of the six photos in the top row!  I don't know how long this view will last, not so long I suspect, but this is what it looks like here and now, at this very moment in the Space Time Continuum.

What does this mean?  Heck,... I don't know, probably not so much...  but I sure do like seeing that so many PINNERS are liking my patterns and designs!

29 January, 2014

Travels with Lucy and the Rustic Rooster

Lucy and I hit the road yesterday, along with my friend, Kathy H.  We girls drove down to Myrtle Creek for a class at The Rustic Rooster Quilt Shop.  Another friend and my most favorite teacher of classes ever!, Linda G., led us in making the Diva Frame Wallet.  We arrived for class at the shop, which has just relocated to great new retail space on First Avenue.  I had not visited the Rustic Rooster previously, but friends assured me that shop owner, Trina, carried fabrics that were right up my alley, and that was SO true!  And if sewing with friends while surrounded by beautiful fabrics and quilts wasn't enough, Trina served us the most delicious chocolate cupcakes with piped cream cheese peanut butter frosting. Sewing, quilts AND CUPCAKES! What could be better?

Linda always shares lots of hints and tricks that make her classes such fun.  The Diva Wallet went together very smoothly and all six of us finished our project in just over two hours.  Now that we've made one, we are all anxious to make more.  These will make wonderful gifts. Mine looks like this.

Hey, there is still some CA$H in my new wallet!  However in the world did that happen?  I was in a Fabric Shop, for goodness sake! 

After class I did a little shopping... and I just couldn't resist these. And here are my purchases, all bagged up and looking like a gift to ME!!!  Don't you just love gifting to yourself?

Kathy and I lunched at the sweetest little place, The Broadway House , located at, of course, 132 Broadway.  K. and I each had a delicious quiche, beautifully presented, I might add...

Broadway House, you had me at PIE & CAKE!
I am so looking forward to more classes at the Rustic Rooster and to going back to The Broadway House in the spring when we can dine outdoors on the deck overlooking the gardens.

27 January, 2014

Indulging Myself

You all remember that I sew in a closet, right? And that I don't have much room in said closet, right?

Even in my teeny space, I want my sewing closet to look nice and to contain some of the things that I love, like my favorite fabrics, vintage patterns, old needle cards, AND... my toy sewing machines.  I had picked up two others along the way, but recently found this new little RED one online.  I made certain that I was the winning bidder and I did very well, if I do say so! Ever the discerning cheapskate buyer/bidder, that's me.

Isn't it just the cutest little thing?  And it even works! It is a Casige "Little Modiste", and is stamped "Made in Germany in the British Zone", which dates it to between 1945 and 1949.  It is in amazing condition for it's age, which is around 65 or so... give or take.  Holy Cow!  It's even older than I am!  It even came with the original box as well as the instructions in both English and German, and what I believe are some quality control or perhaps inspections slips, also in German. 

It looks pretty sweet, sitting on the little shelf with it's sister sewing machines.  Clearly, I need to get a bigger shelf! Or a new house with a real studio...

25 January, 2014

Decisions, Decisions...

I am in the most deliciously creative mental state at the present moment. Since my Birdsong Quilt is now off to the quilter, I am dreaming of, planning for, and envisioning my next quilt. You might think that I would take this opportunity to finish the three other quilts that I have in the works,... but No-oooooooo! To my way of thinking, that just opens up a slot to begin making another quilt!  I don’t believe that I have ever enjoyed the process of choosing the pattern, colors, fabrics and the design of my next quilt as much as I am now.  I have decided to make something on the order of this one, found on Pinterest, the classic and complex Feathered Star!

I was in love with the Feathered Star even before I attended one of Marsha McCloskey's Feathered Star workshops.  You know that you have made a completely KILLER quilt block when it has about 130 (or more...) different pieces!

I will be attending my annual Quilters Retreat in February and want a new project that I can completely immerse myself in!  I have been all over the Internet, searching for the perfect pattern and fabrics.  I knew that I wanted my next quilt to be paper-pieced, I knew that I wanted to add a border using needle turn hand appliqué, I knew that I wanted the quilt to have a vintage/antique sort of a look and I knew that I wanted it to include the color RED!

I just ordered this book, "A Flock of Feathered Stars", by Carolyn Cullinan McCormick, which will provide me with the templates that I will transfer to freezer paper.  Paper piecing makes for exacting piecework, which is so very necessary when making a complex quilt with a ton of pieces per quilt block such as this. 

Light Bulb Moment! - I just realized that the author of the book that I just ordered was same author of the book that I used to make my Hanging Basket Quilt

The Feathered Star is one of the quilts on my Pinterest Quilt Bucket List, even though I made one about 20 years ago. There are tons of different ways to build the blocks, but so far, I am in love with the one pictured in the photo of the quilt pictured above. Mine will be different, of course, but you get the idea.

Next step, choosing the fabrics.  These shown below are beautiful and are at the top of my "maybe" list at the moment. I really love these fabrics inspired by vintage French textiles, and this new line, Le Bouquet Francais by French General, is a bit more vibrant than the generally understated colors in the lines previously offered by French General. I love the combination of red, yellow and blue. I'm thinking these fabrics, with the addition of a few more, along with an eggshell background would look stunning!  What do you think?

Update - January 30, 2014

I couldn't resist.  I ordered the Le Bouquet Francais Fat Quarter Bundle.  The package arrived this afternoon and I have been busy petting the fabrics, laying them out this way and that.  The colors are yummy and the scale of the prints will be perfect for my Feathered Star.  The bad news is that I just received a notification that the Feathered Star book that I ordered is delayed due to "inclement weather". UPS Tracking info tells me that my book is stranded somewhere in Minnesota.  I am imagining my poor book, stranded and freezing somewhere, shivering... in a big ol' semi trailer, all by itself and lonely... maybe in a snowstorm,.. or a terrible blizzard,... or a huge AVALANCHE!, just trying to make its' way to me.  Hold on, Honey, it's warmer here in Oregon!

17 January, 2014

Construction Zone! My Fresh New Look!

Had you noticed that my blog had been looking, um...a little naked?

Well, my free scrapbook style template that I have been using since I began this blog has now become a "for fee" template.  I was all set to purchase my old template, but then I started thinking about maybe streamlining and simplifying my blog look.  Kind of like a "Blog Facelift"!

I set about trying to design my own template, and I was able to come up with the look that I wanted, sort of..., but I just did not have the knowledge to fully implement it.  So I did some research online and found a designer to do the BIG work for me. Her name is Sharnee and her design studio is called  Suck My Lolly.  Sharnee is an absolute DREAM to work with! She lives way over on the other side of the planet in Australia, which is cool, because TONS of my patterns have been purchased in Australia. We are in completely different time zones and even different days of the week so when it's Friday afternoon for her, it is Thursday evening for me!  Crazy!

Anyway,... I sent Sharnee a couple of ideas and suggestions for the colors that I liked and she has built my new template into just what I was looking for.  Now my look is simple, clean, uncluttered and GIRLY! There are still a few little details to finesse, but those will be worked out soon.

Thank you, Sharnee, for helping me to give my blog a serious facelift.  I feel like a new woman!

08 January, 2014

Making The Best of My Time...

Remember, back a few months ago when I blogged about finishing my Birdsong quilt top?  I very ambitiously announced that I was going to hand quilt it and hoped to have it in the hoop "very soon".  Well, the quilt top did not make it into the hoop and sat and sat.  There were the holidays... Thanksgiving and then Christmas, and still no hooping!  I had this big revelation that I could send the quilt out for machine quilting and that means that I CAN START A NEW QUILT, which just got me all excited!

So I contacted my friend, Corrine W., who is a superb machine quilter, and she and I consulted yesterday.  I had sent her a photo of the completed quilt top and she and I had agreed to talk after our Quilters Guild meeting.  Corrine had done her homework looking around online to see how to best quilt my work in the traditional style, and she and I were of the same mind regarding how to best handle the quilting.  We talked about each portion of the quilt from the background of the blocks, to changing thread colors, to the feathers on the birds, veins on the leaves and on to the borders.  She and I think alike, which is just what I need when I am handing my work off for quilting.

Corrine says that she will have the quilt completed next month.  I will be able to have the binding on before the big Umpqua Valley Quilters' Guild Quilt Show in April!

I felt this big sense of relief when Corrine and I struck our deal.  I would have loved to hand-quilt this monster, but... I have more quilts to make and a home business to run.  And... I wanted to finish my Birdsong quilt IN THIS LIFE!  Hand quilting is not necessarily better than machine quilting.  It's just different.

Corrine will send me photos along the way as she quilts.  Can't wait to share!  And I am enjoying dreaming about the next quilt that I will make.  Endless possibilities!